Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Senegal angles for Security Council seat

There has been much talk about which African representative(s) might be chosen in an expanded UN Security Council. South Africa and Nigeria have been the two main candidates. However, Senegal has thrown its hat into the ring. Since the ascension of longtime opposition leader Abdoulaye Wade to the presidency, Senegal has enjoyed increasing confidence on the international stage. Wade is probably one of the most influential leaders in Africa. Senegal is also a much healthier democracy than Nigeria, which is on its way to returning to a one party state. One might argue that it's healthier than even South Africa, since Wade's PDS party has nowhere near the stranglehold on government apparatus that the South African ANC does. Wade is also untainted by association with an almost irredeemably corrupt state (like Nigeria's Obasanjo) or sycophancy vis a vis the Zimbabwean dictatorship or crackpot ideas on HIV (like South Africa's Mbeki). Though little Senegal does not have the international name recognition of Nigeria or South Africa, I dare say it would make a fine Security Council member.

3 Comments:

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Jonathan Edelstein said...

Any chance of Ghana getting the seat? Kufuor has the same regional leadership advantages as Wade, and although Ghana doesn't have quite the same history of stability that Senegal does, the danger of a coup is remote at present.

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Jonathan, I'd be surprised. First, Wade's been more active on the continental stage with regard to NEPAD and other things. Kuffour's efforts have been more focused on West Africa. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means he's less well known. Also, the stability should matter because you want to give the permanent seat to a country, not a particular president.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Chippla Vandu said...

I would think South Africa and/or Nigeria are the best bet for a Security Council seat from sub-Saharan Africa. Senegal may have a less tainted record but it simply hasn't got the leverage to act. Let's face it, a country needs to have a requisite amount of economic or military might to sit on the Security Council. I guess a growing number of African countries are increasingly trying to extend their spheres of influence on the continent – which of itself is a good thing – even if this means challenging the traditional powerhouses.

 

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